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Stepping Stones: God Wants Your Heart, Not Just Your Obedience

Stepping Stones: God Wants Your Heart, Not Just Your Obedience
May 29, 2011 Lighthouse Network

Transformational Thought

Sadly, the more I mature and learn, the more I realize how many mistakes I made growing up and during my early adult years. Giving into peer pressure, lying, cutting corners, getting my value from others’ opinions, sexual sins, alcohol and drug use, car accidents, financial blunders, listening to my emotions, even committing aggravated assault. They all flow from not trusting God and applying His instruction manual, and using my “Manual According to Karl” instead.

Wow, God’s grace is so amazing … protecting me from so many more consequences than I did experience … and actually allowing me to grow and minister to others. If you didn’t believe in miracles before, hopefully you do now.

I really want to save my 3 girls from the misery and frustration I experienced. In my zealous, dogged instruction of decision-making skills, I sometimes forget the most important aspect. My girls and I really want and need a strong relationship with each other. Unfortunately, all my criticism, judgment, correction, pushing, and demand for a higher standard, although from good intentions, have stood in the way of recognizing their greater need for me to be loving, caring, and soothing to them.

You see, without the relationship, all the education and pushing I do to help them be the one God desires, can be largely wasted energy. That is why Jesus died for us first. Then having a relationship with God empowers and enlightens us to absorb and apply His instruction for obedience. God doesn’t demand our obedience before deciding to have a relationship with us based on our successful level of obedience.

Glorifying and enjoying God, spending time with and growing in your relationship with Him should be the highest priority in your life. Maintaining a tidy, structured obedient life should be a secondary priority, not the top priority.

Today, give up trying to stay in control and keeping everyone happy. These are impossible tasks that waste your precious energy. Focus on building relationships … first with God and then with others. With strong relationships, the “obedience” … doing the right things part of living … will quickly follow as you apply His instructions.

Prayer
Oh Father, I declare to You, my Lord, that glorifying You is a much higher priority than maintaining order in my life. I know if I focus on You, I will have the appropriate order. While I make this commitment to You, I realize I do spend too much energy on keeping things under control. When I do this, I lose sight of You. I want my life to display the deep desire of my heart: to glorify You in carefree cheerfulness. I pray this in the name of the one who was able to relate to and obey You perfectly, Jesus Christ – and all God’s children say, AMEN!

The Truth
“Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Mark 12:28-31

But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:40-42

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